Numbers released this week by the Ohio State Highway Patrol paint a sobering picture when it comes to felony drug cases it handled during 2017.
In fact, troopers made a total of 16,653 such arrests, a number which represents a 25% increase over the previous year and a 35% increase over the previous three year average.
During 2017, the number of drug seizures also increased. Quantities of marijuana (+42%), methamphetamine (+55%), and crack (+65%) seized increased substantially. Scheduled drug seizures of hallucinogens (+7,087%) also saw considerable increases. Seizures of cocaine (-52%) and opiate pills (-50%) both fell by approximately half in 2017 from 5-year highs in 2016.
Troopers recorded the largest meth seizure (29.4 lbs.) in Patrol history, the second largest non-prescription pill seizure (8,508 ecstasy pills) and the second largest heroin seizure (35.3 lbs.) in Patrol history.
Perhaps reflecting its position on the state’s main north-south traffic artery, Richland County itself saw 109 felony drug cases, although neighboring Ashland County had just 17. Other area county cases included Crawford (7), Knox (12), Morrow (37), and Huron (11).